Click to view this email online


In this issue

Welcome from the Head of Gawura
Key dates
Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards
Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator
Library news
Sports news
Music news
Parenting tips
Gifted and Talented Education
What's on: upcoming events and activities
TheirCare School Holiday programme
School Holidays - Code Camp

Welcome from the Head of Gawura


Last Friday 9 June we held our annual Grandparents' Day. It started with a service in the Cathedral followed by morning tea and then a visit to the various Gawura classrooms. I want to thank all the Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins who attended this very special day. There were over 20 Gawura families who were represented on the day and the students loved seeing you there. A special mention to the families who travelled into the school from regional NSW and interstate with some families coming from Bathurst and as far as Mt Isa!

In other Gawura news it was a delight for me to attend the NSW Young Achievers Awards Gala Dinner at the Fullerton Hotel in Martin Place on Friday 2 June. Dr Georgia Durmush (St Andrew's cathedral School/Gawura Alumni 2015) was nominated for the award of Indigenous Achievement. It was a very competitive field of finalists and Georgia was announced as the winner. Georgia completed her PhD just last year and is currently working at the Australian Catholic University in the field of Indigenous Education and Indigenous Languages. It is wonderful to see our Gawura alumni giving back to community and continuing to achieve, post their school journey.


Finally, just a reminder that our annual NAIDOC Week Assembly will take place in St Andrew’s Cathedral on Thursday 22 June at 9:30am with a morning tea following on straight afterwards. Please put this date in your calendars now and we hope to see you all then.

Semester 1 reports will be emailed out in the final week of school. The last day of school term will be Friday week, 23 June and the first day back in Term 3 will be Wednesday 19 July.

We wish you all a wonderful and enjoyable break.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance


Mr John Ralph
Head of Gawura


Key dates

Tuesday 13 June, 7pm  ONLINE
Parent Seminar: How to talk to your child about tough topics

Wednesday 14 June
Paul Kelly Cup

Thursday 15 June, 8am
Tea in The Hub: Chinese community parents

Thursday 15 June, 1.15pm-3pm
Kindergarten to Tumbalong Park

Thursday 15 June, 7pm
Showcase: Choose Joy

Friday 16 June
Pinocchio rehearsals

Monday 19 – Friday 23 June

Monday 19 June, 9.15am
End of Term Awards Assembly

Monday 19 June, 5.30pm 
Speaker: "Amazing Me": Bodies, Babies and Puberty (Years 5 and 6 parent/student event) 

Thursday 22 June, 9.30am
NAIDOC Week Assembly and morning tea

Friday 23 June
Gala Day (last day of Term 2)
Years 3-6: Blackman Oval, Lane Cove
Years K-2: Sydney Zoo, Blacktown

Wednesday 19 July
Term 3 commences


Heart Mind Life Uniform Awards



For a full list of the latest Heart/Mind/Life and Uniform awards, click here


Head lice alert

Dear Parents and Guardians,
We have been advised of a case of head-lice in the school.
Please check your child and treat if necessary.

NSW Public Health

The facts
Head lice infestations are a common occurrence, particularly in primary schools.

  • about 23% of primary students have head lice at any one time.
  • anyone can catch head lice regardless of their age, sex, or how clean their hair is.
  • head lice move from one person's head to another via hair.
  • head lice do not survive long when they are off a human head.
  • head lice do not live on furniture, hats, bedding or carpet.
  • head lice have built up some resistance to head lice treatments.

Daily combing with hair conditioner using a fine tooth comb is effective in getting rid of head lice and eggs (nits). Tips for parents in reducing the spread of head lice:

  • regularly check your children's hair.
  • teach older children to check their own hair.
  • tie back and braid long hair.
  • keep a fine-tooth head lice comb in the bathroom and encourage all family members to use it when they wash their hair.

As infestations are particularly common in primary schools, it is best to choose a treatment that can be used over time. There is no single solution to eradication, only persistence.


Message from our Wellbeing Coordinator


How to talk to your child about tough topics

At St Andrew's Cathedral School we seek to support our parents to be having important conversations with your children. Our upcoming parent seminar ‘How to talk to your child about tough topics’ will equip parents and carers to understand the what, how and why to talk to their children about tough topics like sex, puberty, body safety, pornography and consent.

One of the topics Rowena, our speaker, will address is online pornography, which is an important conversation to begin with your children at an early age as many inadvertently fall into viewing online pornography through their electronic devices. Online pornography refers to sexually explicit videos, images and other material that can be easily accessed through the internet. While some may see it as harmless, exposure to online pornography can have serious and long-lasting effects on the development of children. It is therefore important to have parental controls in place. Talking to your child about what it is and what it means, will help them understand the potential consequences of viewing this type of material. By having an open and honest conversation, you can help your child navigate the online world in a safe and responsible way.  However, it can be challenging to know the appropriate developmental language for such a tough topic – how do you find the right words? 

Our parent seminar will help with this, and further guidance for parents can also be found on SchoolTV.

Online Parent Seminar: ‘How to talk to your child about tough topics
Tuesday 13 June, 7-8pm, ONLINE

Further details and to book, see below in: What's on: upcoming events and activities.

Mrs​​​​ Bronwyn Wake
Junior School and Gawura Wellbeing Coordinator and Psychologist/Counsellor


Library news


Grandparents’ Day – A grand affair

What a spectacular day it was having our Junior School and Gawura grandparents visiting us. Students were generously gifted much quality literature by their loving grannies, grampies, yeyes, popos, noonas and babushkas. A big thank you to all the families who took the opportunity to support their grandchild’s love of books. A special thank you to those grandparents who donated a book to the library. We hope all those books continue to expand hearts and minds over the weeks, months and years to come.


Curl up with a book these Winter holidays

Winter holidays provide the perfect combination of indoor cosiness and hot chocolate, both of which are best enjoyed with a book in hand!

To encourage reading over this break, the library is offering a prize pack to every student who completes the Winter reading bingo (above). Each bingo square must have a unique book title – no repeats – and each title must be read during the upcoming holidays (only). Students can bring in their completed bingo card during the first week of Term 3 to receive their prize.

Wishing all our families a safe and relaxing break.

Mrs Nicole Cotter
Coordinator of Information and Digital Literacy – Junior School and Gawura


Sports news


Saturday sport

A cold and misty Saturday morning saw both of our Junior School netball teams coming away with wins. Our Year 6 girls won against Ascham 31-1. Despite an easy win, the whole team played so well – finding space and breaking in front, not to mention amazing shooting accuracy.

Year 5 played one of their best games yet, they certainly hustled with an 8-2 win over Meriden. Despite the score, it was a very even game. Well done girls!

In the rugby, the U11’s continued their unbeaten streak with a 5-2 win over Scots and a 6-2 win against Cranbrook. The U12’s went down 5-2 against St Pius and had a 3-3 draw against Coogee Prep. Injuries and sickness hampered the team slightly this week but they pulled through to still play some great rugby.


CIS Cross Country Carnival

Four St Andrew's Cathedral School students made their way out to the International Equestrian Centre in Horsley Park on Thursday, a large competition with a lot of talented runners. Congratulations to all the St Andrew's runners on making it this far, a great achievement.

The following St Andrew's students represented ASISSA schools at the Combined Independent Schools Cross Country

  • U8/9 years girls – Leila Lesa
  • U8/9 years boys – Joe Doenicke; Killian Apel
  • 11 years girls – Felicity Black

Mr Oliver Denny
Head of Sport Junior School


Music news


Music Exam congratulations!

Well done to the following students:

  • Bill Pan (Year 4) on achieving a B in Grade 4 Violin Repertoire.
  • Freddy Beck (Year 6) for achieving an A+ in his Preliminary Musical Theatre Repertoire exam.
  • Taali Paku (Year 6) has achieved an A in Grade 5 Violin.
  • Vanessa Tsui (Year 4) has achieved a B+ in Grade 3 Violin.

We are always keen to share the musical successes of our students, so if your child has recently done a Music exam and you are willing to have their results celebrated in our newsletter, please forward the exam report to

End of Term 2 / Start of Term 3 Ensemble arrangements

Ensembles will not be running in Week 9, Term 2 and will recommence in Week 2, Term 3.

Thank you to all of our musicians for a wonderful Term of music making!

Mrs Kate Robertson
Head of Music Junior School


Parenting tips


How to raise optimistic children in a pessimistic world

Generation Next magazines Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media, has written an excellent article on this topic. She raises some simple but effective ideas to help us, as parents and teachers, guide our children to look on the positive side of life, especially when all around and in particular, through media, the world is a bleak place.

Caroline writes “Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, social media, cell phone notifications — and even sources you wouldn’t expect, like Instagram and YouTube — children are immersed in doom and gloom. Consider their world: The suicide rate is up, countries are divided and at war and cyberbullying is rampant.”

Here are her simple and effective ideas to help combat the gloom:

  • Put things in perspective.
    Help your children put things in perspective by explaining that the loudest voices capture the most listeners. When you “right-size” things, it lessens children’s fears and restores hope.
  • Talk about what you’re grateful for.
    Counter defeatist attitudes by nurturing your child’s character. Strong character grounds your child when the world feels chaotic. Take the time to share what you’re grateful for. Encourage them to persevere against obstacles and to have compassion for others. Research shows that expressing gratitude actually makes people feel optimistic. 
  • Fight fake news.
    Confusion, doubt, lack of trust — these things get in the way of being optimistic. But children have the tools to fight fake news. They can use online fact-checking tools to discover the truth (or at least uncover the fraud). They can refuse to contribute to the spread of false information by not sharing stuff they can’t verify. Taking fact-checking into your own hands is empowering.
  • Stand up to cyberbullies.
  • Tune out the world for a while.
    Grab your family and spend time with just them. Simply being together, whether it’s to read, have a device-free dinner, or talk about an issue recharges you and sends your children the message that family time takes precedence over everything else. By managing your media and reclaiming your family time, you show your children what’s really important.

Mrs Joy Rohrlach
Grade 5 Leader


Gifted and Talented Education


G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite – Science and Investigations

On Wednesday 7 June selected students from Years 1-6 had the opportunity to participate in G.A.T.E.WAYS Ignite. Students engaged in two workshops focused on science and investigations. G.A.T.E.WAYS workshops seek to engage highly able students with complex concepts and ideas that go beyond the scope of the school curriculum. The workshops seek to ignite curiosity and inspire young people with a passion for learning. These exciting workshops also offer a pathway for many of our high-ability learners to connect with like-minded peers in thought provoking and hands on challenges.

The workshop ‘Genetic Journey’ explored DNA. Students worked as a junior chemist to examine threads of DNA and take a journey through our bodies to discover what makes us unique. After observing the DNA extracting process, students’ created their own unique DNA double helix code, discovering how it is transported to each part of their body. Students also participated in experiments to reveal how we inherit different features from family members (even those several generations back), and how certain chromosomes fit together to map out information for what makes us unique.  
The workshop ‘Diving into Biodiversity’ focused on the Great Barrier Reef. Students worked as marine biologists to dive into this beautiful ecosystem and wonder at this extraordinary range of creatures and variety of coral. Students discovered how each species, from the tiniest microbes to the largest predators, plays a significant role in maintaining this fragile environment. Students worked collaboratively constructing a coral reef model and undertaking experiments that will reveal the meaning of biodiversity, a large food web made up of interweaving individual food chains.
The workshop ‘Levers of Power’ looked at simple machines. Students learnt that every time they use a simple machine they are standing on the shoulders of an ancient inventor. Innovators like Archimedes found a way to cleverly use levers, inclined planes and axles to make simple machines. Students explored the different classifications of levers and how axles revolutionised ‘work’ and ‘play’. From a toy catapult to spinning tops, from tongs to creating a climbing animal using levers, they saw that ‘simple machines’ are never quite so simple.
The workshop ‘Tomorrows Inventors Today’ introduced famous scientists who discovered ways to make our lives easier – these simple machines help us do work faster or more efficiently. They learnt how simple machines like incline planes (like a ramp for wheelchair access) or wheels and axles (like the wheelchair itself), are still the basis of so many modern day innovations. In the workshop students took these inventions of yesterday and devised ways to use them for tomorrow.

Student Reflections:

  • At the workshop today I learnt about how if you remove one species from the ocean it impacts everything and can cause animals and plants to die. This is because it is an ecosystem. We did an activity where we looked at how different predators eat other species. It is okay for a predator to eat another animal or plant because it is part of the ecosystem. But sometimes humans keep collecting too many fish and coral which means that the ocean suffers and some of the species may die. The G.A.T.E.WAYS workshop is really interesting and fun. – Nathan Meng (1C)
  • We learnt about the Great Barrier Reef. The coral in the reef is soft and squishy in the water but hard out of water. But if you take the coral from the reef, it will hurt the ecosystem. This is because fish need the coral to survive. If one animal was removed from the coral reef, then lots of other animal species might die. It is important that fisherman don’t overfish, or the coral reef ecosystem can die. – Georgiana Beynon (2C)
  • It has been a really fun workshop. We created all sorts of simple machines using basic materials such as paddle pop sticks, rubber bands, wooden spoons. We learnt about the component of a lever. There is a pivot, this is where the lever moves. The effort is when you are moving the lever or on the seesaw. The movement is trying to shift the load which is on the other side of the lever arm. One of my designs was called ‘Flailing Fighters’. I used materials to design a contraption that has arms that can move. We designed a catapult using skewers, rubber bands and a milk bottle cap to make a sponge launch. G.A.T.E.WAYS has been very interesting because we’ve done really great experiments which have benefited and extended our learning. – Devon Olsen (6L)
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the simple machines workshop. We made a catapult. We needed a lever to propel a sponge through the air. When designing our simple machines, we had to ensure that the joints were firm using rubber bands. We used zip ties in an 'x' formation to connect the catapult arm. Simple machines are used in the real world and are the basis of so many designs and inventions. – Kosta Konstantinos (6L)

Mrs Rebecca Lord and Mrs Emma Clemens
Gifted and Talented Coordinators, Junior School and Gawura


What's on: upcoming events and activities


Parents and carers, join us tonight ONLINE – you will receive the link when you register below!

This programme aims to equip parents and carers to understand the what, how and why when it comes to talking to their children on tough topics like sex, puberty, body safety, pornography and consent. Parents and carers will be challenged and empowered so that they can make a big difference in the lives of their children.

This programme is for parents and carers only and will take place via Zoom. The link will be sent to you on the day of the event. Please do not contact the school for this link. This is a free event.

Rowena Thomas teaches programmes in schools all around Australia on topics surrounding sexual health to thousands of parents, teachers, and preteens every year. Rowena understands the many complexities and challenges that come at the different stages in a child’s life when talking about tough topics like sex. She is convinced that every person - no matter who they are, where they come from, or what they believe, can have positive, ongoing family conversations around these difficult topics and her goal is to help make this happen!

Tuesday 13 June, 7pm-8pm
ONLINE (the link will be sent to you on the day)


Book here


Tea in the Hub – Chinese community parents

All Chinese community parents are warmly invited to join us for Tea in the Hub to meet other parents, key Junior School staff and Dr Julie McGonigle.

学校四楼 The Hub  
我们诚挚邀请所有 华人社区的 家长前来圣安德鲁大教堂学校参加茶话会,与其他家长、主要小学部教职员工和家长教师委员会成员相聚。
与其他家长、主要小学部工作人员和校长 Julie McGonigle 博士会面。

Tea in the Hub – Chinese Community Parents – all Year groups
Thursday 15 June 2023, 8am to 9am
The Hub

Please RSVP by Tuesday 13 June


RSVP here


Showcase is this Thursday!

Experience the power of music
at the grand Sydney Town Hall
on Thursday 15 June!

Showcase is our spectacular annual event featuring outstanding Year 7-12 music ensembles, the captivating Junior choir, the vibrant Year 7 cohort, and our virtuosic Year 12 soloists. Get ready to immerse yourself in a joy-filled evening as we present "Choose Joy", an unforgettable concert that explores the profound ability of music to mirror, embody, nurture, and unleash pure joy.

Join us in celebrating the incredible talent of our students and be uplifted by the infectious power of music!

Thursday 15 June, 7pm
Sydney Town Hall

Showcase is now sold out. Join our waitlist as there is the possibility that seats will become available.

If you have booked a ticket and are now unable to attend, please let our Community Engagement team know as soon as possible so your seats can be reallocated.


Join the waitlist for tickets here


Please join us as Gawura celebrates NAIDOC Week

Book now to secure your seat, as the students from Gawura lead the Junior School and Gawura Assembly and celebrate this year’s theme – “For Our Elders”.  Come along and see how our school celebrates our First Nation’s culture and links learning opportunities to heritage.

NAIDOC Livestreaming: If you can’t attend our special NAIDOC Assembly, it will be livestreamed on the Gawura Facebook page

We hope to see you there!

Thursday 22 June, 9.30am-12pm
St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney Square


RSVP here


TheirCare School Holiday programme


June/ July School holidays

For information on all upcoming School holiday activities available at St Andrew's Cathedral School, click here.


School Holidays - Code Camp


Code Camp @ St Andrew's Cathedral School

Code Camp is pleased to be back at St Andrew's Cathedral School in the upcoming Winter break with your favourite creative tech holiday camps and some brand new additions! There is a programme for every 5-13 year old: Coding, Roblox Legends, Minecraft Engineers, Design Camp and Jurrasic World Animation.

Book today via and enter the code EARLY25 for a $25 discount for our School families.

Code Camp Flyer